mu is... do you really need to know?
- A simple, yet, an useful answer to any question (i.e., in Zen, philosophy) that is difficult to answer. Once the answer 'mu' is given the question has been unasked. It leaves the question in void and it is up for the questioner to reflect upon themselves. One does not become enlightened by asking and answering the greatest questions, therefore, earthly methods of wisdom is merely unnecessary. It is the experience that mu offers that one should seek in their life. An individual cannot truly move forward while carrying their previous knowledge. One must let go of what they know and open themselves to infinite possibilities in this universe. This offers an opportunity for the individual to reflect, grow, and strengthen ones mind, body and soul.
Nansen says it better:
The way does not belong to things seen: nor to things unseen. It does not belong to things known: nor to things unknown. Do not seek it, study it, or name it. To find yourself on it, open yourself wide as the sky.
Another spin for the 'mu' answer is when the listeners detects a statement (most likely a question) that rests on a logical fallacy. The question presupposes certain parameters which makes it difficult to answer, or even for one to open their mouth. The 'mu' answer in this case makes an attempt to put a loaded question into nothingness. A famous example can best illustrate this:
Have you stopped beating your wife?
In practice, 'mu' can apply to many questions (especially in Zen philosophy) since the limitations of a symbolic logic can only best answer what is essentially a logic that is presented symbollically. :)
Chew on that!